Hundreds of millions of drug tests are administered each year in the United States. A requirement for many private and public jobs, military service, and even for obtaining certain controlled medications, drug testing is a fact of life for many Americans.
Here are three common situations that can result in inaccurate drug test results.
1. False Positives
There are no federal guidelines for minimal positive thresholds on drug tests. In general, acceptable standards mean that around 1 in 20 drug tests could potentially come back inaccurate, and false positives are far more common than false negatives. Why? Because so many over-the-counter products contain ingredients that can set off alarm bells: Cold medications (positive for amphetamines), poppy seeds (positive for opioids), and even HIV medication (positive for marijuana use). False positives aren’t just a concern for those seeking to identify drug users, but also for determining whether patients are taking – not selling – their medication. Pain clinics, for example, rely on positive test results to ensure patients are consuming their prescribed medications; false positives can inadvertently allow for a false sense of security.
2. Gaps in Testing
There is a significant gap in the kind of drug tests organizations and even medical professionals sometimes think they’re ordering and in what’s actually completed. For example, most standard panel drug tests don’t screen for oxycodone, methadone, or fentanyl, three of the most widely-abused opioids in the U.S. Tests are designed to identify highly-specific metabolites, and in many cases the labs require any unusual metabolites to be specified before a sample is even obtained. An unclear or incomplete understanding of the scope of commercial drug test(s) plays a huge part in the disconnect between drug use and end-results.
3. Diluted Samples
Diluting a drug test – i.e. “drug test cheating” – isn’t a reliably effective method of achieving negative results. That said, diluting tested urine with water or another liquid can fool certain testing methods, particularly when urine is not screened for its standard specific gravity before testing. The answer? Gas chromatography and liquid-chromatography mass-spectrometry drug testing are considered the most accurate methods on the market. These tests separate individual components with high molecular specificity. Though slightly more expensive than conventional UA techniques, GC-MS and LC-MS tests provide the most accurate, reliable results.
Find out how IMCSzyme can help you improve the accuracy of your testing.
The biotechnology of drug testing is what IMCS does best. Our flagship product, IMCSzyme, is pure, stable, and fast-acting. It’s used in labs across the country to hydrolyze multiple drug classes.
To find out more about IMCSzyme or any of our other innovative products, reach out to us today at +1 (888) 560–2073.